In the wake of severe weather, who pays for the cleanup?

MAUSTON, Wis. — As parts of Wisconsin continue to clean up from two waves of severe weather earlier this week, one question many have wondered is who pays for the cleanup in the aftermath.

It will be a few days before the full scope of the damage is known, but already some municipalities are putting it in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.

Who pays for the damage depends on where it happens. For the most part, the only recourse for damage on private property is through insurance, which typically doesn’t cover cleanup costs.

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For damage to public properties, like schools, parks and more, there could be limited state or federal funds available.

Those pots of money come with restrictions and thresholds of damage to clear first.

In Mauston, they cleared the first hurdle by declaring a state of emergency.

“The costs that do get recouped, those are for road and bridge repair and for protective measures as well as debris cleanup,” said Katie Rousonelos, a spokesperson for Wisconsin Emergency Management. “The Wisconsin Disaster Fund does not go towards individuals or businesses or places that are covered by insurance.”

For those filing private insurance claims, the state recommends making a list of damaged items, taking pictures before cleaning up and not throwing out any damaged property until a claim adjuster agrees. Plus, keep all receipts and document the cost of repairs or replacement of damaged property.

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